Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's a BBQ Club Christmas!!

Have we ever got some catchin' up to do.... As I thought, the interwebs connection in Arizona wasn't a happening thing, so I'm going to have to step back in the past and share the shenanigans of the BBQ Club Christmas.

We decided we'd do a "white elephant" gift exchange, in which numbers are issued to all participants in the gifting frenzy. Number 1 has first pick of the parcels, number 2 can pick from the pile or steal number 1's gift and so on, and so on... It all starts with a big o'l pile o' gifts.

And then it's about the shaking, poking, and prodding.

In the hopes that Saint Nick might have brought you a hand-sewn lamb chop!!

And a promissory note for visions of future deliciousness!

I can assure you that Diyan's Challah is NOT to be trifled with! It's delicious. And how do I know this? Maybe because she served it on this special day of the BBQ club!!

I know Ms. Susan is pleased as punch here. From the look on Diyan's face, Susan MAY have just uttered something delightfully outrageous!!

And the opening of gifts COULD lead to the acquisition of one helluva an ugly (and highly coveted) Christmas sweater!

And the acquisition of such a sweater MAY lead to fun with Photoshop!!

I do know we enjoyed a fabulous steak dinner.

....complete with homemade apple pie!

And that leads me to the thing that we always find ourselves uttering when we spend time together:

In fact, Diyan designed us a crest. We're thinking of getting matching tattoos!!

Happy Holidays from the BBQ Club!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's A Whistler Wonderland

Mister Man and I are sitting here at YVR, waiting for a flight that will take us to Arizona, where we'll get to spend the festivities with Bob 'n Mer, and see a real bona fide desert!! In celebration, I thought I'd post about an experience that's on the other side of the scale in terms of weather. A few weeks ago, Mister Man and I headed up to Whistler where we planned to see some of the Whistler Film Festival with Ms. Annie and Ms. Lara. When we weren't eating, drinking or seeing flicks, I had an opportunity to take the Lens Baby Scout out for a spin.

How I LOVE this lens!!! I also brought the traveling sweater along for an adventure. And one morning, I slipped away to take the sweater on an adventure. Unfortunately, it was difficult to take a decent photo of me in the sweater. I am not a contortionist. Though perhaps if I had a better attitude about yoga, I could become bendy like a Russian gymnast.... Sadly, on this Sunday morning, I could only manage this: (but it still serves as proof none-the-less).

There were many memorable moments over the course of the weekend, but two in particular stand out. As three of us were still mending from that brutal flu/cold thingie that was going around, we decided that we'd have our OWN film festival one night: The Film Festival of the Pajamas. We decided we needed something not too challenging so we chose "Toy Story 3", and then, Annie, Lara and I slipped into our jam jams. There are two photos from this night that are worth mentioning. One of them was taken by Mister Man and it featured the three of us SOBBING at the end of the film. It is FAR too sad a photo to bring down your festive vibe, so I'll leave you with this one:

Because really, what's better than a spa? Even if it IS the DIY variety.

Over the next few days, I don't know if I'll be able to find a wireless connection, so if not, I hope you all have a really lovely holiday. Here's to delicious food and laughter and family and fun.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Birth of an Artist (or Three)

'Tis the season to embrace the Groupon. (and for those of you who aren't a part of the Groupon phenomenon, it's a great way to try things you may NOT have tried without the benefit of a really kick ass deal.) So when Lori bought a Groupon for an amazing little joint here in Vancouver called Raw Canvas, I coulda popped with joy. You see, Raw Canvas is a local lounge in which you can sip a glass of vino, chow down on a little charcuterie and make like Frida Kahlo. Yup. With the purchase of a canvas, comes all the paint you need to create your masterpiece, PLUS a very authentic painting smock, an easel and brushes, palettes, blending knives and all manner of other nifty painting paraphernalia. The front of the lounge is dedicated to drinking and eating. The back of the joint is where all the magic happens. They call it "the pit."

I'll admit that for someone like myself who wept through drawing classes when I was in the film program at an art school, painting seemed a tad daunting. However, there was something SO appealing about the thought of smearing glorious colour all over a piece of taught canvas. And with the aid of a glass or two of wine, and the support of good friends... well.... I may have found my calling! (or not)

Susan was the first to join us. (The irony here is that the only REAL artist amongst us is Susan's partner Diyan, who was at home marking the portfolios of her art students!!!) Ha!

And then, along came Shayne and Lori. Shayne and Susan decided that we needed a peanut gallery, so they gallantly agreed to hang on the sidelines cheering us on and offering helpful tips and encouraging words. In the meantime, Mister Man and Lori stepped up to the plate with a modicum of anxiety and a whole heap of excitement. Painting? How hard could it be?

Why here's a glimpse of the peanut gallery now!

Lori bares her soul...

Mister Man demands his space.

And then, before we knew it, our canvasses were full, our aspirations of becoming art stars were nipped in the bud and we were almost ready for dinner!

Mister Man's work of art told the story of Icarus, a man who flew too close to the sun....

I went for abstraction (it seemed less frightening that way).

Lori didn't want me to publish a photo of hers, but I can tell you that I really liked it.... I can also tell you that painting really helps one to work up an appetite! So it's a darn good thing we ended up at Campagnolo on Main St. And as a bonus, Diyan joined us. Okay, I guess now is as good a time as any to confess that, prior to leaving Raw Canvas, we EMAILED photos of our paintings to Diyan while she was still home marking, and begged her to critique our masterpieces. She was very kind... Anyhoo - onwards and upwards to the celebratory meal.

Susan and Diyan had eaten at Campagnolo the night before, so they were our "tour guides" when it came to the menu. In fact, the staff recognized them and greeted them like they were family!! So we set about studying the menu.

The food was extraordinary.

Right to the last crumb.... And then, it was time to tuck our tired artistic souls into bed. We were spent!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Jaunt to Seattle

In the weeks leading up to the season, we slipped down to Seattle to do a little holiday shopping. As always, we had a delightful time.

Lisa and Tessie and I went for a walk in the chilly air. Tessie is SUCH a good dog. After the main event (in which the pup was covered in muck), and despite the freezing wind, she made her way to the hose and let Lisa wash her down.

We went shopping at a local import food shop and enjoyed the fabulous bins in which they keep their herbs, spices and other dry goods.

Paully took us on a tour of his work place where we enjoyed the sign on his door.

And, as always, we went for some fabulous meals, including brunch at this place....

.... where both Mister Man and Paully had some strange reactions to their libations.

But it WAS Sunday after all, so maybe that explains Mister Man's beatific pose....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Glimpse of a Life in Three Acts

Mister Man and I are heading south this festive season, to spend a few days with Bob 'n Mer in Arizona. So, in a moment of utter practicality, we decided we wouldn't go to the trouble of putting our tree up this year, (or any holiday decor for that matter), seeing as how we wouldn't be here on the day and all. Consequently, my heart hasn't done its usual holiday flip flop upon entering our wee home, because I haven't been greeted with a show of tiny twinkle lights and little festive figgers.... However, it IS my favourite time of year, and despite the paucity of Christmas paraphernalia in our home, there have been some gorgeous moments over the past couple of weeks that are absolutely blog-worthy. And so, without further ado, here in 3 Acts, are some images of what's inspired me of late....

Act 1
A lovely vision in Whistler

Act 2
A stunning sunset

Act 3
..... in which a most wonderful husband sneaks home after work, puts up the tree despite our attempt at practicality, and surprises me when I walk through the door with a beautiful blast of the season. Even the Shaw Yule Log was aglow (as was my heart)... How I love this festive season. How I love Mister Man for lighting up my life.